Friday, January 5, 2018

Flotsam Jetsam and Floating Art

With all that mesh, electrical wire and supporting ropes, large local sea birds in the area could be at risk.

Tuesday Janet Echelman Massachusetts based floating art creator presented images of her $3 million art work, which would “float” over spa beach. Spanning about 390 feet the piece made of mesh and LED lights will be tethered about 15 feet from the ground.

You can get more detail from the Tampa Bay Times, Waveney Ann Moore, What artist Janet Echelman’s Pier District sculpture would look like.

I have thought this is a stupid idea from the beginning. For starters, here are some people and organizations I think should weigh in on Echelman’s 390-foot pelican and seagull catcher.

Ok, the thing is not high enough to be in the flight pattern, but it could be a serious pilot distraction to those landing on the north/south runway as it “undulates slowly” especially if they are new to the Albert Whitted airport. Furthermore, if the thing comes loose, all that flapping around could be a serious problem.

Audubon Society
With all that mesh, electrical wire and supporting ropes, large local sea birds in the area could be at risk.

While it is true, most of our water fowl roost at night that area is a late arrival path for the rookeries up in clam bayou, and the Pier has long been a feeding station for local pelicans.

From the Janet Echelman website:

We get asked questions frequently about the safety of birds and wildlife with respect to our sculptures. No bird or creature has ever been harmed from one of our artworks. Our work goes through a careful review in order to receive legal permits before construction begins. We consulted a bio-engineering firm that explained how the physical qualities of the artwork do not meet the criteria that would endanger birds. Our nets are made of thicker rope with wider net openings than those used to entrap flying birds or other creatures. Our structures are not unlike naturally occurring vines and thickets often found in local forests, and birds are well adapted to avoid these.

Fish and Wild Life Commission
When it inevitably comes down in the Bay, how many fish will be caught up in the rescue effort to “save the art” and who will pay for that? And, what effect will all the light and color have on the marine life.

St. Pete Budget and taxation committee
There is about $3 million in the Pier budget for art that could be used to pay the seemingly ridiculous price for this mesh bag with lights in it, but the bigger question is: how much will the ongoing maintenance cost?

Most assuredly there will be a wind speed and possibly wind direction limit on when this thing can be “displayed” and it will take a group of people to put it up and take it down.

Who will pay for that? Or will it simply lay in its small, expensive but arty building on Spa Beach with a sign “Light Bag Inside” because no one wants to spend the time or the money to put it up and take it down?

The ultimate scenario
It all started as a relatively calm day the 6-man team of Art Wranglers show up at Spa Beach about 7:00AM to erect the now-infamous Pier light sculpture. We are not sure why they put it up the daytime, but that’s the schedule.

Meanwhile the Mayor’s other pet project, the cross-bay ferry is loading up a hundred passengers for a trip across the bay to Tampa.

It is now about 2:00PM. The wind has been gradually rising approaching the “Art Limit” and the call has gone out for the Art Wranglers to return to the beach and secure the light bag err… sculpture.

As the Wranglers are showing up, the ferry departs from the Vinoy basin passing under the art bag just as an unexpected gust of wind snatches the art bag from the Wrangler’s grip, and it floats down to the north east and envelopes the Ferry.

The spacesuit strength fabric wraps around the ferry props, and it begins to slow. The ferry pilot guns the engines the ferry does a hard right, crashes into the Pier causing the slanted park to slowly slide into the bay completely blocking the entrance to the marina.

Even the Farmers Insurance guy says, “You have got to be kidding.”

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

Congratulations to Barb Haselden, Candidate for Pinellas County Commission, District 6, and her campaign team! Haselden is officially on the 2018 ballot.

Her campaign sent out the following Press Release:


Haselden receives her Certifiate of Signature
Verification from the SOE
St. Petersburg, Fla., Dec 21, 2017 - In the midst of this busy Holiday Season, Barb Haselden announces she has met the requirements to qualify through petitions thus becoming eligible to place her name on the ballot in 2018 for District 6 County Commissioner. This achievement underscores the determination and commitment that Barb and her army of volunteers possess to work for the taxpayers of Pinellas County. 

Filing to run May 8th, she and her team have reached out personally over the past few months, mostly door to door, to obtain the now certified signatures of 1,719 Registered voters in the District. The District 6 seat is being vacated by John Morroni, who announced his retirement earlier this year. 

Upon receiving her Certificate of Signature Verification from the Supervisor of Elections on December 19th, Barb had these comments: "This is the first critical step now completed six full months ahead of schedule. By going door to door, we saved nearly $6,000 of donor funds that would otherwise be required to get on the ballot. Additionally, we met nearly two thousand District 6 voters in the process. Our team is IN IT TO WIN IT and will do the hard work needed to finish first on Election Day." 

Barb Haselden, first time Citizen Candidate and former Leader of No Tax for Tracks, publishes some of her initial priorities: 

1) Secure Term Limits for County Commissioners. Pinellas voters passed a term limit referendum 20 years ago. It has never been enacted.
2) Press for undergrounding of the old power distribution and communication utilities in Pinellas to reduce disruptions during storms.
3) Lead efforts to upgrade, increase capacity to storm water/sewage systems and add more pump station generator power backup to eliminate spillages.
4) Base public policies on raw statistical data and economically sound conclusions.
Inquiries can be directed to John Burgess at 727-374-7883

Haselden will be a champion for the taxpayer.  Help her out. Go to herwebsite and hit her Donate button.

 This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

Monday, January 1, 2018

Swearing-In Ceremony of Mayor Rick Kriseman and City Council.

What kind of Mayor will Rick Kriseman be in his second term?

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog

Tuesday January 2, 2018 Mayor Rick Kriseman will be sworn for his second and final term as St. Petersburg Mayor.

What kind of Mayor will Kriseman be in his second term?

Given his approach in his first term regarding the Pier, lying about the sewage mess and his general disregard for what his citizens want and think the expectation is things will get a lot worse.

Kriseman term limits out after the next four years, so he has no motivation to cater to the public’s whims to secure votes for a follow-on term.

What that means is he doesn’t need your vote, and your opinion will count for less than ever.

Kriseman’s legacy is already sealed in the Pier and the ongoing sewer and water rate debacle. There is little he can do to change the facts.

The next major issue on the table is the Rays, and with things looking somewhat cloudy over in Tampa regarding a new stadium, all that money the Rays donated to the Kriseman campaign may turn out to be a good investment.

The Mayor’s passionate desire for a St. Petersburg to be a sanctuary city will continue and his ongoing support for his Chief of Staff Kevin King a known sex offender should make everyone in St. Pete a little squeamish.

Kriseman will be backed up by an overwhelming Democrat majority on City Council, many with political aspirations beyond their City Council seats. Don’t look for any of them to challenge the Mayor because that would-be political suicide.

All in all, 2018 shapes up to be a good year for the donors to Kriseman and the other new Council Democrat’s campaigns.

What to expect? Look for more cost overruns on the Pier, the Pier will probably not be ready on schedule; the south side will get the short end of the stick and don’t be too surprised if a sweetheart deal starts to take shape for the Rays.

Just in case you want to celebrate the beginning of the next four years of the Kriseman administration you're invited to join the City of St. Petersburg for the official Swearing-In Ceremony of Mayor Rick Kriseman and City Council!

Date: January 2, 2018
Location: St. Pete City Hall
Swearing-In of City Council, 11:00 A.M. Council Chamber
Swearing-In of Mayor Rick Kriseman begins at noon on City Hall steps. 

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